Swingin’ in Vienna moves to new venue, date
January 15, 2013
By David Hayes
In 1998, the Evergreen Philharmonic Orchestra created a renaissance in dancing that crossed generational divides with its surprisingly popular Swingin’ in Vienna.
The semiformal affair, featuring ballroom and swing dancing, returns next month for its 15th year to new digs and a new night.
Longtime orchestra Director Doug Longman said it was a natural transition to move the popular event.
“The new facility at Issaquah High School gives us so much more flexibility,” he said. “The community center folks were really nice, but it was just not a great place to hold a music event.”
If you go
Swingin’ in Vienna
The move from the Issaquah Community Center also allowed Longman to place a little more distance between Swingin’ in Vienna and the holidays with its new Feb. 9 date, a more appropriate proximity to romance and Valentine’s Day.
Longman said a wooden dance floor still has to be rented for the high school commons, all the better to dance to such standards as “Blue Danube,” “Roses from the South” and “Sleeping Beauty.”
The Evergreen Philharmonic splits its time center stage with the Issaquah High School jazz band, providing swing music of the greats from Count Basie to Glenn Miller.
Longman said many within the community and regular attendees from as far away as Gig Harbor circle the date on their calendars. In hindsight, he doesn’t think it’s just the free desserts that keep them coming back every year.
“I think for high school kids it’s gained attractiveness with its older-style dancing that they find cool. And they actually enjoy its semiformal setting,” Longman said. “And, I think the adults enjoy dancing at an event where there is no alcohol. It’s got a family-type feel to it. That’s why it appeals to a broad spectrum.”
The price is also hard to beat, as it’s remained unchanged for several years — tickets are still $50 per couple, and $35 per student or senior at the door. Longman added that discounts are available if the tickets are purchased online. In addition, the price of admission includes free coffee, punch and elegant deserts all night.
Being semiformal only requires dresses for the girls and at least shirts and ties for the guys. Just don’t be surprised to see the occasional tuxedo and ballroom gown.